Michael Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan, on Wednesday remembered the legacy of the late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who made friends with the family after some tense moments during the Cold War in the 1980s.
"Rest in peace, my good friend, you are now once again with my father," Michael, president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, told Tuesday's "Rob Schmitt Tonight" on Newsmax.
President Reagan and Gorbachev are connected in history for ending the Cold War in the 1980s.
"You're on my team, or I am going to bankrupt you," the elder Reagan told Gorbachev during their first private summit, Michael recalled. "And that's what my father planned to do.
"Mikhail Gorbachev began to really believe it, because he was being bankrupted by the buildup of our military here in the United States of America."
But once things settled, Michael recalls, the two Cold War leaders and their families became close.
"Over the years, they really formed a bond and a relationship," Michael said.
The Gorbachev and Reagan families spent time together at the famed Reagan ranch in California, Michael remembered.
"The whole day everybody was trying to figure out, how do you tell Mikhail Gorbachev he has his cowboy hat on backward?" he recalled to host Rob Schmitt. "And nobody wanted to tell him, so they didn't tell him."
Michael Reagan added the "relationship was just so wonderful," noting Gorbachev attended his father's funeral in 2004 and "sat right behind my family."
President Reagan always ended agreements with Gorbachev by saying, "if it's God's will" — and Michael said Gorbachev joked to him, "Well, I never saw God in the will."
History looks back fondly on President Reagan and Gorbachev ending the Cold War, though it was not without some consternation with the American political and diplomatic establishment, Michael recalled.
"You might remember in 1983, the speech he gave when he called it [the USSR] the 'Evil Empire' and all of his staff, all of the State Department just went crazy: 'How can you do that? The worse thing ever,'" Michael Reagan told Schmitt. "The same people, when he gave the speech, 'Tear down this wall,' the same people were mad at him for telling Gorbachev to tear down the wall."
But, alas, the ends ultimately justified the means for the two world leaders who became connected through life, death, and history, Michael concluded.
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